Neapolitan Easter Pie {ModBak}

After the simple and stunning chocolate orange hazelnut tart, the next recipe I made from the Sweet Tarts & Pies section of the Modern Baker Challenge was Neapolitan Easter pie. I really wasn’t all that excited to make this one, and Margaret’s lack of enthusiasm when she made it didn’t help matters any.

The recipe called for white wheat berries, which is an ingredient I don’t keep in my panty and didn’t want to buy just for this pie. The instructions give several substitutions for the wheat berries, one of which is rice. I happened to be making basmati rice for dinner the night before I made the pie, so I made some extra rice to use in the pie.

The recipe also calls for pastry cream and provides instructions to make it. Given my lack of enthusiasm for this recipe, I decided to take a shortcut and use pastry cream mix from King Arthur Flour. Although, truth be told, I almost always use the King Arthur mix when a recipe calls for pastry cream. It’s quick and easy to mix up, and it’s absolutely delicious.

After making the pasty cream, I whisked in ricotta cheese, sugar, and eggs, then stirred in orange flower water, candied orange peel, and the rice. I scraped the filling into a crust made with sweet tart dough.

I topped the pie with strips of dough arranged in a lattice pattern.

Yeah, that cinnamon was supposed to go on top of the pie before the crust

 I baked the pie at 350°F for about 40 minutes, until the crust was baked through and the filling set and slightly puffed up.

It smelled good coming out of the oven and reminded me of a custard pie my mom used to make when I was younger.

I enjoyed the pie more than I thought I might. The flavor was similar to custard pie, and the orange peel and flower water added a bright, citrus note. The rice gave it a texture similar to rice pudding and helped the filling hold up well to the crust. It was especially good served just a little on the warm side (the same way I like my pudding).

So, overall, this pie was a pleasant surprise. That said, I doubt that I’ll make it again. Unless, perhaps, one of my daughters dates an Italian guy. And I’ve got a few years before I need to worry about that. Not enough. But a few.



  1. April 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Everything about this pie appeals to me! Fun to have both Pizza Rustica for dinner and this pie for dessert! Just dont mix them up and have dessert first. LOL

    • gaaarp said,

      April 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      What’s wrong with dessert first? Lol

  2. April 3, 2012 at 7:06 am

    […] This is my second forray into Tuesdays with Dorie, and I’m happy to report that I liked this recipe a lot better than the Irish soda bread I made a few weeks ago. This recipe is from Nick Malgieri, and it reminded me of a savory version of his Neapolitan Easter pie. […]

  3. Margaret said,

    July 2, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Glad you liked this one. I wasn’t enthusiastic about it for the texture. The taste wasn’t bad. Interesting to make tho. Yours is better than mine because it has more filling.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      I agree. The taste was better than the texture.

  4. Katie said,

    July 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I’ve never heard of the King Arthur Pastry Cream before. I’ll have to look into that!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 2, 2011 at 1:10 am

      It’s one of those ingredients that I picked up when I needed to spend a few more dollars to get free shipping. Now I always keep it around. It’s delicious and so simple to make.

  5. Renee said,

    June 30, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Yea, I skipped this one. Just not my kind of pie. Glad to know I didn’t miss out on much.

  6. June 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for making our ingredient part of your amazing holiday pie. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  7. Kayte said,

    June 29, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Well it looks lovely in the end…not sure I want to use time and ingredients to try this one, I think it might be an acquired taste. I wouldn’t bet the guys would even eat it as they don’t like rice pudding at all. At. All. I think I will just admire yours and move on from there. Yours does look nice. Matt’s half-Italian, does that count in the dating your daughter in the future realm? And you wouldn’t even need to make his pie again, so there is that.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 2, 2011 at 1:08 am

      Go ahead and skip this one. I’ll absolve you.

  8. Abby said,

    June 29, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I am totally uninspired by this one, but I think that if I make it, I’ll go the rice route like you did…seems less weird. 😉 Glad it was better than you anticipated!

    • gaaarp said,

      June 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

      You never know, it might just surprise you (but I wouldn’t fault you for skipping it, either).

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